« AnteriorContinuar »
ones to become old; and each makes a point of putting forth the first of some pleasant series (such as this, for example!), which cannot fail to fix the most fugitive of readers, and make him her own for another twelve months at least."
Under this head it is proposed to place the " Mean temperature of every day in the Year for London and its environs, on an average of Twenty Years,'' as deduced by Mr. Howard, from observations commencing with the year 1797, and ending with 1816.
For the first three years, Mr. Howard's observations were conducted at Plaistow, a village about three miles and a half N. N. E. of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, four miles E. of the edge of London, with the Thames a mile and a half to the S., and an open level country, for the most part well-drained land, around it. The thermometer was attached to a post set in the ground, under a Portugal laurel, and from the lowness of this tree, the whole instrument was within 'three feet of the turf; it had the house and offices, buildings of ordinary height, to the S. and S.E. distant about twenty yards, but was in other respects freely exposed.
For the next three years, the observations were made partly at Plaistow and partly at Mr. Howard's laboratory at Stratford, a mile and a half to the N.W., on ground nearly of the same elevation. The thermometer had an open N. W. exposure, at six feet from the ground, close to the river Lea.
The latter observations were made at Tottenham-green, four miles N.of London, which situation, as the country to the N.W. especially is somewhat hilly and more wooded, Mr. Howard considers more sheltered than the former site; the elevation of the ground is a trifle greater, and the thermometer was about ten feet from the general level of the garden before it, with a very good exposure N., but not quite enough detached from the house, having been affixed to the outer door-case, in a frame which gave it a little projection, and admitted the air behind it.
On this day, then, the average of these twenty years' observations gives
Mean Temperatu.e ... 36 • *7.
It is, further, proposed to notice certain astronomical and meteorological phenomena; the migration and singing of birds; the appearance of insects; the leafing and flowering of plants; and other particulars peculiar to animal, vegetable, and celestial existences. These observations will only be given from sources thoroughly authentic, and the authorities will be subjoined. Communication* for this department will be gladly received.
Is said, by his English biographer Butler, to have been a sub-deacon in a desert, martyred at Spoletto, about the year 178; whereto the same biographer adds, " In the Roman Martyrology his name occurs on the first, in some others on the second of January." The infallible Roman chnrch, to end the discord, rejects the authority of the " Roman Alartyrology," and keeps the festival of Concord on the second ot January.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 35 * 93.
THE RIDDLE OF THE YEAR,
There is a father with twice six sons; these sons have thirty daughters a-piece, party-coloured, having one cheek white and the other black, who never see each other's face, nor live above twenty-four hours.
Cleobulus, to whom this riddle is attributed, was one of the seven wise men of Greece, who lived about 570 years before the birth of Christ,
Riddles are of the highest antiquity; the oldest on record is in the book of Judges xiv. 14—18. We are told by Plutarch, that the girls of his times worked at netting or sewing, and the most ingenious " made riddles."
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 35 • 60.
Prepare for Twelfth-day
The "Mirror of the Months," a reflector of "The Months" by Mr. Leigh Hunt, enlarged to include other objects, adopts, •« Above all other proverbs, that which says, 'There's nothing like the time present,'—partly because ' the time present' is but a periphrasis for Now!" The series of delightful things which Mr. Hunt links together by the word Now in his "Indicator," is well remembered, and his pleasant disciple tells us, "Now, then, the cloudy canopy of sea-coal smoke that hangs over London, and crowns her queen of capitals, floats thick and threefold; for fires and feastings are rife, and every body is either ' out' or ' at home' every night. Now, if a frosty day or two does happen to pay us a flying visit, on its way to the North Pole, how the little boys make slides on the pathways, for lack of ponds, and, it may be, trip up an occasional housekeeper just as he steps out of his own door; who forthwith vows vengeance, in the shape of ashes, on all the slides in his neighbourhood, not, doubtless, out of vexation at his own mishap, and revenge against the petty perpetrators of it, but purely to avert the like from others 1— Now the bloom-buds of the fruit-trees, which the late leaves of autumn had concealed from the view, stand confessed, upon the otherwise bare branches, and, dressed in their patent wind-and-waterproof coats, brave the utmost severity of the season,—their hard, unpromising outsides, compared with the forms of beauty which they contain, reminding us of their friends the butterflies, when in the chrysalis state.—Now the labour of the husbandman is, for once in the year, at a stand; and he haunts the alehouse fire, or lolls listlessly over the half-door of the village smithy, and watches the progress of the labour which he unconsciously envies; tasting for once in his life (without knowing it) the bitterness of that ennui which he begrudges to his betters.—Now, melancholy-looking men wander 'by twos and threes' through market-towns, with their faces as blue as the aprons that are twisted round their waists; their ineffectual rakes resting on their shoulders, and a withered cabbage hoisted upon a pole; and sing out their doleful petition of ' Pray remember the poor gardeners, who can get no work!'"
Now, however, not to conclude mc jrnfully, let us remember that the oflk irs and some of the principal inhabitant.', of most parishes in London, preceded by their beadle in the full majesty of a full great coat and gold laced hat, with his walking staff of state higher than himself, and headed by a goodly polished silver globe, go forth from the vestry room, and call on every chief parishioner for a voluntary contribution towards a provision for cheering the abode of the needy at this cheerful season :—and now the unfeeling and mercenary urge "false pretences" upon "public grounds," with the vain hope of concealing their private reasons for refusing "public charity :"— and now, the upright and kiud-hearted welcome the annual call, and dispense bountifully. Their prosperity is a blessing. Each scattereth and yet increaseth; their pillows are pillows of peace; and at the appointed time, they lie down with their fathers, and sleep the sleep of just men made perfect, in everlasting rest.
Mean Temperature ... 36- 42.
Agricultural Custom. In the parish of Pauntley, a village on the borders of the county of Gloucester, next Worcestershire, and in the neighbourhood, " a custom, intended to prevent the smut in wheat, in some respect resembling the Scotch Beltein, prevails." "On the eve of Twelfth-day all the servants of every farmer assemble together in one of the fields that has been sown with wheat. At the end of twelve lands, they make twelve fires in a row with straw; around one of which, made larger than the rest, they drink a cheerful glass of cyder to their master's health, and success to the future harvest; then, returning home, they feast on cakes made of caraways, &c. soaked in cyder, which they claim as a reward for their past labours in sowing the grain.''*
Credulity and incredulity. In the beginning of the year 1825, the flimsiest bubbles of the most bungling
* Rudgu's Gloucester.
projectors obtained the public confidence; at the close of the year that confidence was refused to firms and establishments of unquestionable security. Just before Christmas, from sudden demands greatly beyond the amounts which were ready for ordinary supply, bankers in London of known respectability stopped payment; the panic became general throughout the kingdom, and numerous country banks failed, the funds fell, Exchequer bills were at a heavy discount, and public securities of every description suffered material depression. This exigency- rendered prudence still more circumspect, and materially retarded the operations of legitimate business, to the injury of all persons engaged in trade. In several manufacturing districts, transactions of every kind were suspended, and manufactories wholly ceased from work.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
As just at this time it may be interesting to many of your readers, to know the origin of Exchequer bills, I send you the following account
In the years 1696 and 1697, the silver currency of the kingdom being, by clip
Sing, washing, grinding, filing, &c. reuced to about half its nominal value, acts of parliament were passed for its being called in, ■ and re-coined; but whilst the re-coinage was going on exchequer bills were first issued, to supply the demands of trade. The quantity of silver re-coined, according to D'Avenant, from the old hammered money, amounted to 5,725,933/. It is worthy of remark, that through the difficulties experienced by the Bank of England (which had been established only three years,) during the re-coinage, they having taken the clipped silver at its nominal value, and guineas at an advanced price, bank notes were in 1697 at a discount of from 15 to 20 per cent. "During the re-coinage," says D'Avenant, "all great dealings were transacted by tallies, bank-bills, and goldsmiths' notes. Paper credit did not only supply the place of running cash, but greatly multiplied the kingdom's stock; 'or tallies and bank-bills did to many uses serve as well, and to some better than gold and silver; and this artificial wealth which necessity had introduced, did make us less feel the want of that real
Bring me a garland of holly,
Rosemary, ivy, and bays;
Till after the Christmas day
Fill out a glass of Bucellas;
Here !—boys put the crown on my head: Now, boys !—shake hands—be good fellows. And all be—good men—when I'm dead.
Come, girls, come! now for your kisses.
Hearty ones—louder—loud—louder' How I'm surrounded with blisses!
Proud men may here see a prouder.
Now, you rogues, go kiss your mother:—
Here take the garland, and wear it;
'Nay, nay!' but you must, and you shall; For, kere't such a Aim.'—come, don't fear it;
If you do—turn round to tin; wall.
A kiss too for Number Eleven,
Another good glass of Bucellas,
Laugh on my good girls, and good fel-
Hey !—now, for the Christmas holly,
Rosemary, ivy, and bays; Gravity's nothing but folly,
'''ill after the Christmas days.
December 30, 1825.
Mean Temperature. . . 3T ■ 47.